Election 2016: Reflections from a Progressive Grassroots Organizer for HRC

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I feel a tremendous grief for what has been and will likely be lost, as well as fear for what is likely to rain down on the most vulnerable in our society as a result of this election.

I strongly supported Hillary Clinton, in the primary and the general, and spent countless hours organizing volunteers in Malden and Melrose, knocking doors here and in New Hampshire. I had the pleasure of working with a large group of volunteers -- some veterans from other campaigns, others new faces.

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Election 2016: The Ballot Questions

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The national news on Tuesday was quite grim (I didn’t actually learn the ultimate results until Wednesday morning, avoiding the news late Tuesday night for the sake of mental health). And although those results have left me—and many of you, I’m sure—feeling rather hopeless, the results in Massachusetts earlier in the night can give some grounds for hope.

Here, I’m talking about the ballot questions. On all four statewide ballot questions, the progressive position won: the Progressive Massachusetts endorsed #NNYY. Massachusetts said no to expanding slots gaming, no to a rapid expansion of charter schools, yes to protecting farm animals, and yes to legalizing recreational marijuana and rolling back the drug war. The importance of these victories should not be lost on us.

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Dark Money and the Charter Campaign

Want a Halloween fright? Peel back the curtain and look at the dark money behind Question 2.


 

If you want to know who is funding all those commercials for lifting the cap on charter schools in Massachusetts, you’ll need a good pair of binoculars.

Just like grainy, horror-movie TV campaigns ads, the commercials you’re seeing in favor of lifting the cap are made by PACS and superPACS, organizations whose names often suggest the exact opposite of the position they support.

This is the proverbial dark money: Individual investors give money to organizations that don’t have to disclose donors’ names, but use the money to fund ads for candidates and causes under the organizations’ names.

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Organizing Worcester for Progressive Wins

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Changing Narrative: Change the State House

Last week was kind of an amazing one for the larger conversation about politics in Massachusetts.

In case you missed it, some in the political establishment reacted poorly to the suggestion, made by State Senator Jamie Eldridge, that progressives need to organize and reassert influence in Massachusetts politics. (Hear Sen. Eldridge talk about this story on the Commonwealth podcast, here)

Meanwhile, the progressive grassroots applauded -- it's a narrative many of us have been voicing for a long time, finally getting public airing.

So let's move beyond just talk.

What better way than to actively support 5 candidates who will make our legislature more progressive -- and help legislate solutions to real problems facing the people of the Commonwealth. (Don't believe me? Listen to John Oliver!)

Volunteer, donate, and help get out the progressive vote on Thursday, September 8 (yes, Thursday!).

With volunteer opportunities from Worcester to Roxbury and Ashland and Cambridge in between, now is proressives’ chance to change Beacon Hill and move our agenda forward.

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When we mobilize, we can win! 
Volunteer this weekend! Read/click for more info, below:

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Build a Progressive Legislature - Volunteer for Your Endorsed Candidates

Voting day for state primaries is just around the corner (THURSDAY, Sept. 8), and our endorsed candidates need your help!

When we support progressive candidates in primaries, we are doing two important things for the long-term movement --
  • Making the legislature more progressive, so we can get more legislation passed
  • Building the bench of progressive leaders who someday can run for even higher office

Do your part this weekend.

Information is below on how to help your five progressive endorsees:
Monica Cannon (events in Roxbury)
Mike Connolly (events in Cambridge)
Pat Jehlen (events in Somerville, Cambridge, Medford)
Jack Lewis (events in Framingham, Ashland)
Moses Dixon (events in Worcester)

And don’t forget to donate to our candidates if you haven’t already!

Remember, your time and dollars go much further in state legislative races -- and you’re investing in the movement long-term.
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Monica Cannon

monicacannon.org/

“Join Team Cannon for our champion for the voiceless, for our community activist candidate, Monica Cannon. In this tight 7th Suffolk District race, it is the difference between electing the status quo and a real change-maker for Roxbury. Your support door knocking and phone banking will ensure we leave no stone unturned, no vote neglected, and a better future for the communities of Roxbury, Dorchester, and the Fenway.”

You can reach out to Meaghan with any questions at 617-396-7085 or votecannonforstaterep@gmail.com.

Mike Connolly

mikeconnolly.org/volunteer

"This is the one race where a conservative House Democrat is being credibly challenged from the progressive Left. Mike Connolly’s been active in Progressive Massachusetts from the beginning; he started as an activist at Occupy Boston, and worked his way into the role of legislative aide for the Cambridge City Council. If we want to see a more progressive House, we need to win this race in Cambridge and Somerville."

Canvassing Opportunities for Connolly:

Saturday, Aug. 27: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, Meet at the HQ at Workbar Cambridge (45 Prospect St, Cambridge, MA 02139)
Sunday, Aug. 28: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, Meet at the HQ at Workbar Cambridge (45 Prospect St, Cambridge, MA 02139)

Phone Banking Opportunities for Connolly:

Saturday, Aug. 27: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, Meet at the HQ at Workbar Cambridge (45 Prospect St, Cambridge, MA 02139)
Sunday, Aug. 28: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, Meet at the HQ at Workbar Cambridge (45 Prospect St, Cambridge, MA 02139)
Contact Chris at 301-807-8378 OR chris@mikeconnolly.org to get involved.
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Pat Jehlen

electpatjehlen.org/volunteer

“Pat has a well funded and aggressive opponent. She needs all the grassroots activist support she can get to ensure her progressive vision for Massachusetts is fulfilled.  Pat could use your help in these final weeks, and on election day itself.”

Phone Banking Opportunities for Jehlen:

Daily at HQ (212 Elm Street (3rd Floor), Somerville, MA 02144)
Contact Field Coordinator Charlotte at (617) 909-0408 or at charlotte@electpatjehlen.org with any questions or to get involved.

Jack Lewis

electjacklewis.com/volunteer/

"I am running for state representative to be a voice for those not traditionally represented in the halls of power. My background in ministry and as a non-profit leader make me uniquely qualified to represent Framingham and Ashland. I would be honored to bring my lifelong commitment to progressive principles and practical solutions to the State House."
There are volunteers knocking on doors and making calls daily. Contact Rachel Quinn at Rachel@ElectJackLewis.com or 631-905-4671.
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Moses Dixon

mosesdixon.com/volunteer/

“I'm pleased to have the endorsement of Progressive Massachusetts because it really means something. Your questionnaire is uniquely comprehensive, and your members are uniquely involved in the endorsement decision, giving it real progressive grassroots credibility. Progressive Massachusetts members are among the most effective volunteers, and I'm grateful for your help in door-knocking, talking to voters, and getting out the word. Let's keep it up —Mo'smentum!”

Want to get involved, or have any questions? Contact Jon at 508-556-4383 or jonobrien56@gmail.com.

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2016 State Primaries are on a Thursday!

Did you know that Massachusetts voters go to the poll on September 8? Which happens to be a Thursday? 

Help us spread the word -- and make sure YOU have a plan to vote on Thursday, September 8. 

And, help us support member-endorsed candidates. Their wins will help make the State Legislature as a whole more progressive. 

Find out more here: progressivemass.com/2016legislativeelections

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2016 Endorsed Candidates for the Primary!

If you've studied our scorecards, you know that Massachusetts's law-making body isn't nearly as progressive as our reputation. If we want more issues on progressive issues, we must pay attention to legislative races -- and work for candidates and campaigns that can add to a shift in power on the Hill. 

We've endorsed our candidates for 2016 primaries -- voted on by Progressive Mass members. Give them your support -- dollars and time -- this is how we will win, long-term!

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Solving Transit and Traffic Problems in the Cambridge Corridor

PM Member Mike Connolly invites the Progressive Mass community to Saturday's forum on Transit and Traffic in the Cambridge Corridor. RSVP, on Facebook or this website. 


 

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For the past few months, I have been working with members of the Mass. Budget For All coalition and the Cambridge Residents Alliance to organize a public forum on transportation issues in Cambridge and Somerville. The event is being co-sponsored by Green Cambridge, 350Mass. Transit Group, and the Fresh Pond Residents Alliance.

"Solving Transit and Traffic Issues in the Cambridge Corridor" will be held this Saturday, April 30th, from 2 to 5 pm at the Cambridge Senior Center (806 Mass. Ave in Central Square). Everyone is welcome to join us for conversation, light refreshments, and opportunities for public input on a topic that is vital to our future.

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189th Senate Scorecard - 2015-2016

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Every two years, you elect your State Senator. But what happens after that? Where do they stand on the issues of the day on Beacon Hill? How do they vote on the bills that come before the House of Representatives during the two-year legislative session?

Every year, Progressive Massachusetts puts together a scorecard of Legislators' votes, zeroing in on those roll call votes that often can show the distinction between a progressive legislator, and everyone else.

With the Progressive Mass scorecard, you can see how your State Senator votes, helping the public understand where he or she stands on specific policies, and giving you the information to better advocate for the issues that you care about, and even influence your vote in election years.

The Senate Scorecard for the first year of the 2015-2016 legislative session is below (looking for the House Scorecard? It's here).

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